Troubleshooting Category

Using Previous SurveyPro Files as Templates for New Projects

Frequently, customers will contact the Support Department asking how to delete the data from an existing SurveyPro project file so they can reuse it for a slightly different project. After verifying that the customer does not need to perform longitudinal analysis on the different data sets, we’ll walk them through the process of using the Mass Delete feature in the Answer Entry screens. At that point most customers end the call and press on with their project.

But, there is another aspect of this situation that bears examination. And that aspect is the underlying database that is created as you add questions and grids to a questionnaire. Removing unneeded or unwanted data in the Answer Entry screens does not affect the structure of the database itself, only the responses.

Keeping that in mind, say you have a survey that contains 100 questions, after deleting the Fiscal Year 2008 responses, you start editing the questionnaire. Deleting the 10 question tiles which contain FY2008 specific questions you start adding tiles that contain FY2009 specific questions. If you were to check the tile list in the questionnaire you would see that after adding 10 2009 specific tiles you end up with 100 questions. But an examination of the Database Questions branch of the Object Tree would reveal that your database contains 110 questions.

A closer examination reveals that the extra 10 questions (numbered 101 – 110) were the 2008 questions that you deleted at the beginning off this process! Questions that do not appear on a questionnaire are shuffled to the bottom of the list while the questions appearing on the questionnaire are numbered sequentially.

It should be obvious at this point that the relationship between a question in the database and a tile on a questionnaire is not a hard link. The tile on a questionnaire is only a representation of the Question Text to Scale relationship that exists in the database. Removing one does not guarantee the removal of the other; in much the same way as removing the data via Mass Delete does not remove the associated question tile on the questionnaire.

To keep your database clean you should finish your edits with a purge of the unneeded items for the Database Questions list. Once you do have your 2009 questionnaire finalized you should go back to the Database Questions branch of the Object Tree; and starting from the bottom of the list, remove questions that no longer appear in the questionnaires. This will result in a smaller SurveyPro project file and remove unwanted and empty report figures from the automatically generated Executive Summary and data Table reports.

For more advanced information on file management, please check out our tutorial training module “Auditing Projects and Creating Templates”:

How to create a quick Poll with Results in SurveyPro.


A tutorial about how to make Pop-up web polls with SurveyPro. It includes a sample file to download and the steps to create one from scratch. These are useful for getting visitor participation on your website and helping engage your audience.


Download SP4 File


The survey programming is pretty straight-forward. The coding of the pop-up aspect, however, requires some knowledge of HTML and basic web-programming. We don’t cover the pop-up part other than to mention which tools where used in the Demo.


Essentially, we need to create a survey which contains a single page.  On that page we would have the question(s) and the “Vote” button.  Exiting from that page would pull up the “Instant Online Report” page to show the results of the poll.


Pop-up poll questionnaire

Pop-up poll questionnaire

Create a questionnaire - Usually, polls are a single question, though there is no limitation in SurveyPro regarding this. It is important to keep dimensions in mind since iframes should have defined dimensions and the survey AND report will need to fit within whatever you set. Depending on which options you set for the Instant Report, 300px is about the minimum width you should use. You will likely need to experiment with this since you can set the width of the questionnaire, but not the report. You may also want to change the “start new” button text to “Vote!” or “Submit” (Document -> Properties -> Buttons Tab).

Page List Dialog

Page list dialog

Remove extra pages – This survey should be a single page, so remove any others (including “thanks” page) in the Document -> Edit Page List dialog.

Report login dialog

Report login dialog

Create the report – Go to Document -> Web Survey Setup, and click the “Edit” button next to Online Reports. Edit the Login Page (or create a new one) and make sure “No Password” is selected.

In the Edit Report dialog, select what stats you want to show.

Exit settings dialog

Exit settings dialog

Change exit settings – Document -> Web Survey Setup, and click the “Edit” button next to “Embedded Operation”. The report url will vary based on where your survey is hosted.


The “pop-up” aspect involves some knowledge of HTML. For our demo, we used a JavaScript library called jQuery and a plugin for jQuery called Thickbox. The intent is to pop up a modal window (i.e. an ‘iframe’) containing the survey. The survey itself could be hosted on QuestionWeb or your own server.

Another method, that is a little less “standards compliant”, is to pop-up an actual new window with javascript. We don’t recommend this method, though it is available.

Finally, another popular option is simply embedding an iframe in your HTML page and having the survey appear there.

One important thing to note – certain users’ networks disallow iframe content, particularly when the content comes from a different base url or server. This may be an issue if you use a survey hosted on questionweb.

The questionnaire will not allow edits.

There are two conditions that exist that can prevent the edit of a questionnaire.

The first thing to check is if the questionnaire is in preview mode. This will be indicated by the icon that looks like a pair of eyeglasses being selected. If this is the case, simply click on the icon that is two spaces to the left (looks like a couple of miniature tiles, one selected in orange) and you will be in question tile edit again and able to edit.

The other condition that can prevent editing is if the question has been published (either to NetCollect, KeyCollect or DirectCollect) and is locked. You can go to the Edit menu, to Lock Questionnaire and deselect the questionnaire.

One important not on the later of the two conditions is that the program defaults to locking the questionnaire after a publish for a reason. Specifically, edits made after a publish can result in import issues later on so it is best to not make any edits after one publishes.